25 Mar COVID-19 Update: Live Events and Entertainment Industry Coalition – Urgent Call for Federal-Private Task Force
The Live Events Coalition, a new national coalition of live event and entertainment businesses, their employees, and independent contractors are calling on the Trump Administration and Congress to establish a special task force to rescue their industry in the face of total collapse as a result of COVID-19. To slow the spread of the global coronavirus crisis, governments have shut down live events, and this work stoppage within the industry that produces them is creating a domino effect, threatening a significant portion of the US economy.
“The coronavirus outbreak is threatening to eliminate the livelihoods of millions of Americans and their companies, with the possibility of wiping them out for good if action is not taken right now,” says Isaac Rothwell, a spokesman for the Live Events Coalition. “The White House is holding talks with representatives from many different sectors of the economy, and we are asking to be brought into those talks right away. We represent people in every state of the Union and make a major contribution to the US economy.”
The US events industry supports more jobs than oil and gas extraction, telecom, automobile, food, chemical, and machinery manufacturing combined. According to industry research from Allied Market Research, the business of live events generates more than $1.1 trillion annually on a global scale and was expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% to $2.3 trillion by 2026. Direct spending on events in the US sits at the highest share of that revenue at over 36%. However, the cancellation of concerts, sporting events, conferences, activations, meetings, trade shows, theatrical productions, and countless other produced events has left a previously thriving industry and its labor force in ruin.
In response, Rothwell and his Digerati Productions company created a Change.org petition requesting a federal aid package for small businesses in the event industry due to COVID-19. In one week, more than 300,000 people have signed and united behind the Live Events Coalition effort. What began as a grassroots effort represented by smaller companies and independent contractors has grown to garner the support of critically important industry resources such as Live Design and International Live Events Association among others, as well as event production and technology solution providers that employ thousands, like PRG/VER. While the Coalition remains grassroots, it now represents a broad spectrum of live events professionals and invites other production and planning companies to come together as one.
“The petition was put together by Isaac as a gut reaction to help our most vulnerable, small businesses and independent contractors. Many of us saw his initiative as a call to action and the Live Events Coalition was formed. We want to ensure that our industry, which is highly complex and varied, is part of the national conversation during this time of crisis,” says Eileen Valois, senior vice president of strategic initiatives for PRG and professional sports. “Our mission is to ensure that events-related businesses — and the millions of Americans in our displaced workforce, including full and part time workers, independent contractors, and freelance professionals that we employ — are included in future supplemental relief aid packages.”
To access the petition, please visit: http://www.change.org/p/donald-j-trump-federal-aid-package-for-events-industry?fbclid=IwAR3juRomfMSln_JYQvM_WwZaVuwonr4XKZ6VLF61n4rw5UoRLbGOXv6thOY.
For more information regarding the Live Events Coalition, please visit the link below.